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Make the Call: Wait ‘Til Morning or Head to a Walk-In Clinic?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, ExpressCare, Memorial Medical Center | Posted on 24-09-2014

Hispanic-Mother-with-Sick-ChildWe’ve all been there with our kids, an aging parent or even a spouse: a mystery fever takes hold after dinner; stomach cramps increase in intensity before bed; or maybe a disturbing cough refuses to quiet.

Of course you’d rather wait until morning to call your primary care physician and talk with a nurse who’s familiar with your family history. But when symptoms worsen, so does the worry.

“That fever won’t break. Should we take him to see a doctor tonight?”

“She just can’t keep anything down.”

Sometimes peace of mind is worth an evening or weekend trip into a walk-in clinic, especially for worsening symptoms surrounding ailments like cough and flu, sore throat, fractures and strains, nausea, vomiting or even uncomfortable skin rashes.

“We see so many different types of illness and injuries, it can be hard to narrow down absolutes,” said Dr. Calvin Bell, medical director of Memorial’s three ExpressCare clinics. “I suggest people call their primary care physician for instructions if there is ongoing concern.”

However, Dr. Bell provides four “tipping points” to look for when making the decision to go to a walk-in facility like ExpressCare: Read the rest of this entry »

Summer and Thirst: Tips to Recognize and Prevent Dehydration

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, ExpressCare, Memorial Medical Center, Summer | Posted on 11-07-2014

200401674-001Even camels can die from dehydration—those humps are filled with fat, not water. But you don’t have to exist in a desert to be vulnerable to the symptoms and effects of dehydration, especially during the summer when increased activity and high temperatures team up.

Calvin Bell, MD, medical director for Memorial ExpressCare, explains that dehydration occurs when the body’s loss of water is in excess of what one takes in. This can be caused by extreme hot or cold environments, increased activities, alcoholic beverages, fever, diarrhea and even some medications, including those for blood pressure or diabetes.

You can prevent dehydration by being proactive, especially during the summer. Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping Pinkeye at Bay

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, ExpressCare | Posted on 19-02-2014

woman with pinkeyeLast week, amidst talk of glittering figure skater costumes, “#SochiProblems” and how exactly curling works, one topic took center stage: conjunctivitis, better known as pinkeye.

This dreaded affliction reared its ugly head–and eyes–at the Winter Olympics, when NBC anchor Bob Costas missed several days on the job because of a severe case of pinkeye.

According to Calvin Bell, MD, medical director for Memorial ExpressCare and physician with Mid-America Emergency Physicians, pinkeye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear tissue over the white part of the eyeball and lining of the eyelids. This inflammation makes blood vessels more visible, which reddens–or “pink”ens–the eye. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Not Too Late to Protect Yourself Against the Flu

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, ExpressCare, Flu | Posted on 14-02-2014

flu vaccineWe’re in the middle of an especially active flu season—one we hope is almost over. However, it’s not time to call the “all clear” yet. Stay vigilant against the flu for a healthy late winter and early spring. Here are three things you can do to guard against the flu:

  • Get a flu shot.

Though we are in the midst of flu season, you can still get a flu shot to protect yourself against the flu virus.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports that while flu season usually peaks in January or February, it is not too late to get a flu shot. According to HHS, if you get the flu vaccine you are 60-percent less likely to need treatment for the flu by a healthcare provider. Getting the vaccine has been shown to offer substantial other benefits, including reducing illness, antibiotic use, time lost from work, hospitalizations and deaths. Read the rest of this entry »

Experts Urge Bounce House Safety Precautions

Posted by | Posted in ExpressCare, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Safety, SportsCare | Posted on 17-12-2012

Inflatable bounce houses are becoming a staple at backyard birthday parties and other outdoor gatherings. But with children’s more frequent exposure to these popular party attractions comes a higher likelihood of injury, experts are finding.

A new study, which looked at numbers from 1990 to 2010, found that more than 11,300 children were treated for bounce house-related injuries in 2010, twice the number from 2008. The study found that most injuries occurred from falls and collisions with other jumpers; more than half of the injuries included fractures, sprains and strains.

While the study couldn’t pinpoint a reason for the increased number of bounce house-related injuries, the authors suggest their growing popularity, which Paul Kircher, ATC/L, an athletic trainer with Memorial SportsCare, said he agrees with. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Tell if That Sore Throat is a Virus or Strep

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, ExpressCare, Flu, Physician Services, Winter | Posted on 27-11-2012

As cold and flu seasons settles in for the long winter ahead, instances of sore throat begin to pop up more frequently — but how do you tell if that achy throat is caused by a virus or strep?

Many people automatically think that their painful sore throat is due to strep. But according to Calvin Bell, MD, FAAEM, director of Memorial’s ExpressCare clinics, most sore throats are caused by viruses and not the streptococcal (strep) bacteria.

“The symptoms of sore throat from viral causes are very similar to those of strep throat,” Dr. Bell said. “They consist of throat pain, difficulty swallowing and sometimes difficulty speaking.”

Viral infections may be distinguished from strep infections if Read the rest of this entry »

Flu Season Reaches Peak

Posted by | Posted in ExpressCare, Flu, News | Posted on 27-02-2012

You might think a winter virtually free of ice, snow and bitterly cold temperatures means fewer people coming down with the flu. But here in central Illinois, the above-average temperatures have just delayed the onset of what is typically considered the peak of flu season, mid-January through February. 

Now, just one month out from spring, the flu bug is biting. 

Local doctors report a recent increase in patients with flu-like symptoms. High fever, sore throat and body aches are all typical signs. And for the first time this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 10 percent of patients have tested positive for flu. A sure sign flu season is here.  Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Things You May Not Realize Are Full of Germs

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, ExpressCare | Posted on 14-12-2011

Do you pride yourself on being clean and relatively germ-free? We hate to burst your bubble, but you may not be as immaculate as you think. We’re not saying you’re Pig Pen, just that you should probably sanitize after you pat yourself on the back.

Carly Hinkle, a registered nurse with Memorial Medical Center’s Infection Prevention department, said it’s “very easy” to pick up an unwanted bacteria or virus by touching any number of everyday objects — handrails, door handles, elevator buttons and more.

And consider these culprits:

Read the rest of this entry »

Stay Safe This Halloween

Posted by | Posted in ExpressCare, Parents, Safety | Posted on 27-10-2011

halloween safetyIt’s the spookiest night of the year. But make sure your scares come only from kids in costume by following these safety tips from Matt Johnston, MD, Taylorville Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director.

1. Careful With the Costume

Whether it’s homemade or store bought, costumes should not be too tight or too loose. Avoid flowing costumes that kids can trip on or props that can get in the way. Be sure your child can see well out of his mask and is wearing proper shoes. It’s also a good idea to have the child wear a glowing necklace or reflective tape.

Read the rest of this entry »

You’re Never Too Young, Old or Healthy to Get the Flu Shot

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, ExpressCare, Flu, Videos | Posted on 18-10-2011

Part 1: Can I get the flu from the flu shot?
Part 2: What’s in it and how long will it protect me?

Getting the flu shot is a great way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting the flu this fall and winter. Nationally, more than 30 million outpatient visits each year are attributed to the flu. In addition to protecting your health, getting vaccinated also can save you money.

Cost to get the flu shot: $15-30. Read the rest of this entry »